Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Everybody Back in The Greenhouse!

Most years it seems like I've just finished getting the plants out of the greenhouse when they all have to start being moved back in. It's not true, I usually start sometime in late April or May, but this year I didn't start until July, and finished around August 1. So this year it's actually true that they weren't outside for long. I just got them all back inside after having started a couple of weeks ago.

This year I adjusted the wire shelves into an L shape to make room for some of the larger pots on the floor. And I found room for a small table and chair, so on rainy days I can sit out there with a cup of coffee and relax.

View into the greenhouse through the open door

To the right of the door as you step inside -- that very heavy 'Blue Glow' Agave is in a deliberately inaccessible corner, since it won't need much watering over the winter

The tall Echium 'Star of Madeira' had a rocky start to the summer. After spending so long in the greenhouse, it had rooted rather solidly through the pot into the gravel, and when I moved it outside, it wilted terribly, losing so many of its leaves that I pruned a lot of them off deliberately. It's on a drainage tray now, and in the spring I think I'll repot it and refresh the soil with some fertilizer to encourage flowering, if it hasn't flowered over the winter.
I wonder if 'Star of Madeira' will flower in the greenhouse over the winter

Propagation area to the left of the door

Pelargonium sidoides flower against dark elephant ear
Various succulents rooting on heating mats

Trays and heating mats waiting for seed starting to begin
I arranged the shelving in an L-shape to make more room for those larger plants on the floor to the right of the door

My head planter from Watson's has three Hindu Rope Hoyas planted in it and sports a Minnie Mouse headband and glasses

Can't find a face pot? Turn a plain pot into one with a Halloween mask!

Baby 'Blue Glow' gets child-size sunglasses

Do I like Agaves? Aye, I do!

Puya alpestris -- Careful! It bites back!

I call this "The old lady and the two gingers"

I found room for a table and chair, for morning coffee

Dad, Mom, and spiky baby -- Hmmm...Mom needs some Mardi gras beads

Doesn't everyone keep a captive fairy in a cage?

More tall plants are on the wire table, and I left some room on the right hand side for working on seed starting and cuttings

Bromeliads and a few Begonias underneath

This guy has steampunk goggles, a Rhipsalis hairdo and a friend to say "Aloe" to

Did someone say morning coffee?

You may be wondering if anything gets left out on the porch. Yes, a few hardy things that can take the cold temps, but need the protection of the porch overhang to keep the constant winter rain off.

Three Yucca 'Bright Star', which have benefited from being potted and a handful of hardy Agaves are going to spend the winter on the porch

The corker in the white pot is Agave scabra x ferox

Two recent acquisitions (thanks Jane!) Agave bracteosa, and two smaller Agaves -- A. utahensis and A. havardiana

In the big brown pot is Agave 'Baccarat'

Fabulous teeth impressions on 'Baccarat'

My plan is to get all the hardy Agaves into the ground in the gravel garden sometime soon, either late this winter or early spring. That might require breaking that big brown pot.

A big handful of little pots line the western-facing windowsill  in our guest bedroom.

Ronin likes sleeping on the guest bed, but so far has left the plants alone

I put this ocean-themed terrarium together this summer

I'm sure I'll acquire a few more tender plants before winter sets in, that I can probably shoehorn in somewhere out in the greenhouse. But now that I have space out there for something other than overwintering plants, I don't intend to give it up without a fight.

Of course, I'll only be fighting with myself.


  1. Everything looks so organized and healthy, Alison. I like the zones you put things into. My place is a harum-scarum mess as Mama used to say.

    Your head pots are marvelous. Thank you for the tip for using a plain pot and a Halloween mask.

  2. I like those masks on the pots, especially the butterfly mask. Good to see you smiling and having fun in the greenhouse.

  3. It all looks fantastic and I love everything! So glad that you made space for a place to sit and enjoy your magical greenhouse. The Halloween mask idea is fab!

  4. Looking good, Alison! And your plants too! I'm smiling while looking at 'the faces'. I think I need to start moving my plants.

  5. It all looks so neat and tidy! I need to do some cleaning in my greenhouse. I still have a few things to move to their winter homes, tropicals from the greenhouse to the house, zone 9 plants from the patio to the greenhouse. But I just don't feel much urgency.

  6. I love your greenhouse, what a great place to go in the winter. My in-lawa have a small greenhouse attached to their underground home with patio doors which actually helps heat the house in the winter when the sun shines. On the days it doesn't shine here in gloomy WI, they have a woodstove installed to heat it. Their greenhouse is not large enough to accommodate a lovely table and chairs though. I love the thought of being out among the plants in the wintertime. :-) You look beautiful surrounded by your plants, I'd love to pull up a chair and visit with you.

  7. Thank you for the tour, Alison. I love your greenhouse too and hope to have one someday. I love your gingers vignette, by the way :)

  8. I saw my baby on the top shelf in the greenhouse - looks like it's doing good! When I had a greenhouse, there was nothing better than after work cocktails among the plants.

  9. Your greenhouse looks like a great place to hang out, rain or not. I love all the decorative touches. The mask on the pot was inspired!

  10. Lovely faces in your greenhouse, including you, haha. I'm also spending more time in the greenhouse now, all not hardy plants have to get inside now where I hope to keep them frostfree in winter.

  11. You look very happy in your greenhouse with your coffee! Everything looks so well organised, you put me to shame!

  12. Seems a little like you're channeleing your inner "Outlaw" in some of these photos. What a fun space you've created. I'm a little jealous you've got everything tucked in for the winter. I moved all the things that need to come into the basement but I'm dependent on Andrew for the building of the shade pavilion greenhouse walls and he's off in China right now. With a big wet storm looming I'm feeling the pressure

  13. Love the masks and eyeglasses.


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